• The first two games in Argentina were an absolute no-threat firework, but with a great Lionel Messi goal and a late victory by Marcos Rojo, they defeated Nigeria 2-1. If Messi has actually decided to play an important role here, to lift his team by the neck and wear them, that could mean a turnaround for Argentina.
• Argentina was a World Cup finalist four years ago. If they do not solve their problems, they could follow the team that beat them ̵
• France scoreless against Denmark, the only such game of the World Cup, and a game that is so terrible that the coaches were asked to explain afterwards. "One point for the draw was good enough for them, and we did not have to take any chances to get better, because that result was good for everyone," said French manager Didier Deschamps.
Some Pregame Reading
• Rory Smith of The Times has done a terrific piece about where France finds its players today: many have their teeth in the huge concrete runaway of cities and satellite cities outside of Paris clenched. a talent pool the size of Belgium.
• Is Lionel Messi to blame for what plagues Argentina? Not so fast.
• Is today's point in the World Cup when the surprises stop? The carnival and excitement of the group stage rarely go on in the knockout rounds, writes Rory Smith, but international football is more democratic than ever.
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